Charity football match to support young people’s mental health

PUBLISHED: 16:43 12 April 2018 | UPDATED: 16:43 12 April 2018

OLLIE Foundation football match.

OLLIE Foundation football match.

Archant

A charity football tournament is being held in London Colney to promote health and wellbeing among young people.

OLLIE Foundation football match.OLLIE Foundation football match.

‘KickOff@3’ will be held at Cotlandswick Leisure Centre on Saturday, May 5. The match, which is part of an initiative focused on improving engagement between police and local youth, will feature teams of young people from the London Colney area and Watford.

The initiative was created in 2017 by serving police officer Michael Wallace, who works in youth engagement and aims to use sport to provide vulnerable young people with stability they might not get elsewhere, and Ashley Levien, who runs social inclusion initiatives and a ‘soccer school’ in the London borough of Barnet.

Together they aim to engage with young people through the medium of sports and music while raising awareness and funds for charities which promote young people’s wellbeing.

Funds from the London Colney event will go towards youth suicide prevention charity The OLLIE Foundation. OLLIE (One Life Lost Is Enough) delivers suicide prevention and intervention training in the St Albans district.

OLLIE Foundation football match.OLLIE Foundation football match.

OLLIE Foundation coordinator Verity Bramwell said: “At OLLIE we know that mental health doesn’t discriminate. You can be rich or poor, black or white, and everything in between.

“We try to create communities that come together to support each other, no matter their background. That’s why what the KickOff@3 team and Hertfordshire Constabulary are trying to achieve is incredibly close to our hearts.

“By being proactive in trying to engage those that are typically hard to reach and creating events which bring the whole community together they are making such a positive difference.”

There will also be live music at the event, and Herts police officers will be on hand to talk to young people and offer advice.

Insp Rory Arnott said: “: “We’re really pleased to be supporting such a fantastic project. Events like as this are a great way to break down barriers between police and younger members of the community and we look forward to meeting with them on the day.”

The competition is open to anyone age 15 to 17, and admission is £25 per team (10 players) or £4 per person. To enter email rory.arnott2@herts.pnn.police.uk

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